Myanmar president leaves for state visits to 3 ASEAN states
YANGON, March 20 (Xinhua) — Myanmar President U Thein Sein left Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday on state visits to three member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, official sources said.
As the first leg of his visit, Thein Sein will arrive Hanoi on Tuesday to start visiting Vietnam and then Cambodia on Wednesday as the second leg, Laos on Thursday as the third leg of his three-nation tour.
U Thein Sein’s visits are respectively made at the invitation of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni and Lao President Choummaly Sayasone.
In December 2011, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited Myanmar on the occasion of the 4th Summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) held in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital city of Myanmar.
During the visit, Dung met with U Thein Sein and the two leaders had talks on promoting bilateral cooperation under the GMS Economic Cooperation program and mutually beneficial cooperation in areas such as communications, transport, agriculture, livestock, tourism, forestry, trade and investment.
The two countries then signed two memorandums of understanding on agricultural and rural development cooperation and provision of technical fund by Vietnam for agricultural development.
During Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh’s visit to Nay Pyi Taw earlier this month, 12 Myanmar private companies signed memorandums of understanding with Vietnamese entrepreneurs respectively on furthering the two countries’ economic cooperation.
The two countries also agreed to establish sister-city ties between Yangon and Ho Chi Minh.
In May and November 2007, prime ministers of Cambodia and Myanmar Hun Sen and U Thein Sein exchanged visits.
In February 2011, Myanmar Airways International (MAI) launched its maiden flight between Yangon and Siem Reap, an ancient city of Cambodia. The flight service was extended to reach Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, in November, 2011.
The airline’s extension to Phnom Penh has created a long-term cooperation between Cambodia and Myanmar on tourism, culture, trade and investment.
The direct air link between Myanmar and Cambodia was introduced after the 4th Ayeyawady Chaophraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) summit and 5th CLMV Summit took place in November 2010 which was aimed at developing tourism industry in the subregion.
In July 2011, Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong came to Myanmar, during which Thongsing and U Thein Sein held talks on bilateral relations, security cooperation along Mekong Basin, border region peace and stability, seeking ways to promote bilateral trade and exchanged views on bilateral cooperation in culture, tourism industry, religious affairs and education, mutual cooperation in international and regional issues and ways to promote the existing friendly relations.
Both sides also sought possibility of constructing a friendship bridge across the Mekong River to facilitate and enhance road connectivity.